How to Use Microsoft 365 Priority Accounts for Access Checks

Microsoft 365 priority accounts are a way to mark accounts for special processing. Microsoft is building features to exploit priority accounts, but they can be used for other purposes, like checking if an account has account to a resource. Of course, multiple other methods exist to do the same job, but that’s not reason to exclude priority accounts from the mix.

Available Now: January 2021 Update for Office 365 for IT Pros

The January 2021 update is available for Office 365 for IT Pros, the only eBook about Microsoft’s cloud Office service that’s updated monthly. Twenty-one of the 24 content chapters are updated as change keeps on happening in Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Teams, Planner, Stream, Azure AD, and more.

Customizing the Browser Theme for a Microsoft 365 Tenant

It’s easy to create a custom theme for the Office 365 browser apps (except Teams, which does its own thing). All you need is a corporate logo, some colors, and perhaps a sense of how colors go together. You can also block users from selecting from the default set of themes that come along with Office 365, an action that might just remove some light from some peoples’ lives.

How to Anonymize User Data in Microsoft 365 Usage Reports

The data used for Microsoft 365 usage reports comes from the Microsoft Graph. You can anonymize the data to replace references to user, group, and site names with system-generated values to protect user privacy. This works, but it reduces the usefulness of the reports by a large degree, so you should be prepared to switch to show full user data sometimes.

Come in Internet Explorer – Your Time is Up

Office 365 Tenants need to stop people using Internet Explorer. On November 30, Teams stops support for IE11; nine months later, the rest of the Microsoft 365 apps cease support. According to Microsoft, the only browser in town is the new Edge (which has an IE mode), but most will keep on using Chrome, Firefox, Brave, or Safari as they do today.

Microsoft Cloud Growth Continues Unabated

The Microsoft FY20 Q4 results included good news for its cloud segments with increasing activity, numbers, and revenue. Although we didn’t get new user numbers for Office 365 and Teams, Microsoft included some other interesting data about Azure Active Directory and EMS in its narrative.

How Outlook’s Notification Pane Displays Details of Office 365 Incidents

Outlook for Windows boasts a new admin notification panel where incidents affecting the Office 365 tenant show up. It’s an interesting idea, but you wonder if there aren’t more important things for the developers to work on, especially as many other ways exist for administrators to find out when problems happen.

Microsoft 365 Security for IT Pros Published

The New Microsoft 365 Security for IT Pros eBook is now available from Gumroad.com. The book is modeled after Office 365 for IT Pros and covers the essential steps tenant administrators should take to secure and defend their organizations. Security is something that everyone involved in tenant administration needs to think about, so it’s good to have some solid advice from the pros.

Teams is the Most Difficult Office 365 Application to Backup

Because it sits on top of so many Microsoft 365 components, Teams is easily the hardest Office 365 workload to backup. You can try to backup Teams by copying its compliance records stored in Exchange Online, but that’s only a partial (and bad) solution that utterly fails to take the full spectrum of Teams data into account.

Word Combines @Mentions and SharePoint Online Sharing Links

Word users range from casual to professional writers. Those involved in collaborative co-authoring can now @mention others in comments. The feature is available in Word and PowerPoint (click to run) and the Office Online apps now and Excel desktop is due to get it too. Documents must be stored in SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business to allow @mentioned people access the files.

Updated Usage Reports in the Microsoft 365 Admin Center

Several updates are available for the standard usage reports in the Microsoft 365 Admin Center. One helps Office 365 tenants understand the changed user activity profile due to remote working. Another gives views of user activity across the complete tenant. The updates are useful and interesting, but an ISV product will do a better job of analyzing and reporting the same data.

The Renaming of Office 365 Groups

In the latest example of rebranding wizardry, Microsoft has announced that Office 365 Groups are becoming Microsoft 365 Groups. You’d wonder if the rename is just to keep the marketing people happy. But maybe the new name reflects what Office 365 Groups have become. Less of a collaboration platform and more of a membership service for Microsoft 365 apps.

Microsoft 365 Business Premium Tenants Get Azure Active Directory Premium P1

Microsoft 365 Business Premium customers will benefit from the provision of Azure Active Directory P1 Premium licenses. All good, but what about the Office 365 E3 tenants who pay the same monthly fee? Many enterprise tenants could use the features licensed by Azure Active Directory Premium P1, but they’ll have to pay $6/user/month to get the same benefit.

Microsoft 365 Compliance and Security Centers Rolling Out to Office 365 Tenants

The Microsoft 365 Compliance and Security centers are roling out to Office 365 tenants where they’ll replace the old Security and Compliance Center over time. The new centers look fresher than the SCC, but looks can deceive and it’s much more important that the functionality exposed in the new portals work reliably all the time.

Office 365 Reaches 180 Million Monthly Active Users

At their Q3 FY19 earnings call, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that Office 365 is now used by 180 million monthly active users. Office 365 is now growing at more than 4 million users per month. The earnings call also noted success for Enterprise Mobility and Security and the Outlook mobile client, both of which are now used by more than 100 million people.

Microsoft 365 Security and Compliance Centers Now Generally Available

The Microsoft 365 Security and Microsoft 365 Compliance Centers are now generally available. The new consoles will eventually replace the Office 365 Security and Compliance Center (SCC) but some work is needed to fill out their functionality and make the switchover possible. In the meantime, the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook writing team will stay focused on the SCC. And when the time’s right, we’ll switchover.

Network performance and connectivity evaluation with Network Testing Companion

Microsoft has released a nifty Network Testing Companion to help Office 365 admins validate that their network can support the deployment of Teams and Skype for Business Online.

How to Export Microsoft 365 Roadmap to a CSV File

The new Microsoft 365 roadmap features the ability to download items (filtered or the entire roadmap) to a CSV file. You can then open the file with Excel or pour its contents into Power BI to analyze the roadmap to your heart’s content. That seems like a good thing.